Kuwait targets residential water waste and building retrofits

Kuwait’s developing electricity and water efficiency programme is targeting householders caught wasting water and a pilot home retrofitting project will soon be launched, according to Suhaila Marafie, director of the studies and research department in Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water.

Marafie will be speaking at the second MEED Kuwait Energy &Water Efficiency Conference in Kuwait City on 3-4 June (for details see https://www.kuwaitenergyefficiency.com).

“We now have a team of 90 employees that are now going all over Kuwait to check abuses of the water system,” Marafie told MEED. “People found wasting water are given penalty tickets. If they don’t pay in three days, their water is cut off.”

Marafie says that water charges in Kuwait cover less than 10 per cent of the costs of production. The absence of water meters has made it difficult restrain consumption, but the new crack down appears to be delivering quick results, she says. “Consumption growth last year was only 1.8 per cent,” Marafie said.

The retrofitting programme will seek radically to increase the energy efficiency of Kuwaiti homes. “We plan to retrofit 100 homes as a pilot project,” Marafie said. “Once this is successfully completed, we shall tackle the entire housing stock.” Marafie said that the government plans to pay for the retrofitting work. “It is cheaper for us doing it this way because subsidies account for 95 per cent of the cost of producing power,” she said.

Marafie said that the Kuwaiti government is not yet considering increasing the price of electricity and water as a way of controlling consumption and waste. “Government action to improve building efficiency and introduce district cooling means we can save 50 per cent of energy consumption ourselves,” Marafie said. “After that, we can look at tariffs.”

The government’s electricity efficiency plans call for consumption to be 15 per cent lower than it would otherwise be by 2020. The savings are to be raised to 30 per cent by 2030. Other initiatives include solar power projects. The Ministry of Electricity & Water is completing a feasibility study for solar photovoltaic projects in 25 locations with combined capacity of 300MW. The long-term goal is for alternative energy to deliver 15 per cent of Kuwait’s power generation capacity.

Kuwait’s peak electricity demand is expected to reach 13,000MW this summer, about 8 per cent above the figure recorded at the same time in 2013. Water demand is expected to reach about 420 million gallons a day in 2014. https://www.kuwaitenergyefficiency.com/